By Alexander Miller, for Eurasia Business News – March 9, 2022
The European Union’s Member States agreed today to adopt further targeted sanctions against officials of Russia and Belarus, amid war in Ukraine. In particular, the new restrictive measures target 160 individuals and amended Regulation (EC) 765/2006 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Belarus and Regulation (EU) 833/2014 concerning Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine.
EU Member States wanted to ensure more effectively that Russian sanctions cannot be circumvented, including through Belarus.
For Belarus, the measures introduce SWIFT system prohibitions similar to those in the Russia sanctions regime, clarify that crypto assets fall under the scope of “transferable securities” and further expand the existing financial restrictions by mirroring the measures already in place regarding Russia sanctions.
In particular, the agreed measures by the EU Member States will:
- Restrict the provision of SWIFT services to Belagroprombank, Bank Dabrabyt, and the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus, as well as their Belarusian subsidiaries.
- Prohibit transactions with the Central Bank of Belarus related to the management of reserves or assets, and the provision of public financing for trade with and investment in Belarus.
- Prohibit the listing and provision of services in relation to shares of Belarus state-owned entities on EU trading venues as of 12 April 2022.
- Significantly limit the financial inflows from Belarus to the EU, by prohibiting the acceptance of deposits exceeding €100.000 from Belarusian nationals or residents, the holding of accounts of Belarusian clients by the EU central securities depositories, as well as the selling of euro-denominated securities to Belarusian clients.
- Prohibit the provision of euro denominated banknotes to Belarus.
For Russia, the amendment agreed today introduces new restrictions on the export of maritime navigation and radio communication technology, adds Russian Maritime Register of Shipping to the list of state-owned enterprises subject to European financing limitations and introduces a prior information sharing provision for exports of maritime safety equipment.
Finally, the EU confirmed the common understanding that loans and credit can be provided by any means, including crypto assets, as well as further clarified the notion of “transferable securities”, so as to clearly include crypto-assets, and thus ensure the proper implementation of the restrictive measures on the use by Russia and Belarus of financial tools.
The EU Member States decided to extend restrictions against 160 individuals :
– 14 oligarchs and prominent businesspeople involved in key economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the Russian Federation – notably in the metallurgical, agriculture, pharmaceutical, telecom and digital industries -, as well as their family members.
Andrey Melnichenko (he controls the largest Russian coal exporter SUEK and the producer of EuroChem fertilizers), Dmitry Pumpyansky (TMK, Sinara) with his wife Galina and his son Alexander, Vadim Moshkovich (Rusagro, Dmitry Mazepin (Uralchem/Uralkali) and his son Nikita, Alexander Vinokurov (President of Marathon Group, the largest shareholder of the retailer Magnit), Andrey Guryev (head of PhosAgro), Mikhail Poluboyarinov (CEO of Aeroflot), Dmitry Konov (head of SIBUR), fell under the sanctions. Mikhail Oseevsky (head of Rostelecom), Vladimir Kiriyenko (head of VK, previously fell under US sanctions), as well as the chairman of the board of Rusnano Sergey Kulikov are on the EU blacklist.
– 146 members of the Russian Federation Council, who ratified the government decisions of the “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation and the Donetsk People’s Republic” and the “Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation and the Luhansk People’s Republic“.
Altogether, EU restrictive measures now apply to a total of 862 individuals and 53 entities.
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